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Wisconsin-based oil company towing vessel sinks in Kinnikinnick River

By Bryant McCray

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    MILWAUKEE (WDJT) — An Appleton-based oil company is trying to bail out their towing vessel after it sunk in the Kinnikinnick River.

U.S. Venture Inc. is the owner of the 112-foot towing vessel. The vessel was docked and empty at the time it began to sink.

The vessel began to take on water just after 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 2.

Authorities were alerted of the issue with dozens of agencies responding to evaluate the situation.

“We are here to make sure that it is done safely and that’s it done correctly,” said Ltd. Phillip Gurtler, public affairs officers with the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard said the company is cooperating with their mission to remove the vessel.

“They are contacting the people that they need to, and they are moving forward with a plan, anytime there is an incident like that that’s what we want to see, and we are very happy that they are working with us,” said Gurtler.

However, with tons of oil and fuel onboard threatening the Kinnikinnick River, precautions were taken; crews deployed 100 feet of hard boom with absorbent material as a preventative measure.

“We want to make sure that the pollutants, in this case diesel fuel is contained and eventually removed from the vessel,” said Gurtler.

What caused the towing vessel to take on the water is still under investigation.

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